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8 things I underlined in Adam Smith's 5 things to watch over these next 70 days of Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott

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From the piece today on 1A:

1. Charlie Crist, the former self-described Ronald Reagan Republican, officially became the Democratic nominee for Florida governor Tuesday ...

2. The single-biggest obstacle to Crist this year is voter turnout history. In 2002, 40 percent of Democrats turned out to vote and 46 percent of Republicans turned out. In 2006, 40 percent of Democrats showed up, and 45 percent of Republicans. In 2010, Scott won when just 38 percent of Democrats voted and 46 percent of Republicans did.

It's no accident that Crist for the first time in his political career spent an election night in Fort Lauderdale, rather than his hometown of St. Petersburg. His campaign is fixated with driving up turnout in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, heavily populated, Democratic counties where turnout often lags the rest of Florida.

It also helps explain why Crist through much of the year has often sounded more like a liberal Democrat than a centrist former Republican.

3. Expect a host of Democratic surrogates from across the country to converge on Florida in the coming weeks to help elect a Democratic governor of America's biggest battleground state, including probably Bill Clinton.

4. Between Crist's assorted political committees and outside groups or allies, Democrats are likely to spend at least $50 million toward unseating Gov. Scott.

5. ... since March, Scott's campaign spent more $20 million on TV ads to move the polls about 6 points in his direction. Crist can move the needle with his own TV ad barrage, but he can never compete financially with Scott.

6. If you're tired of the negative ads now, wait until Nov. 4 finally arrives.

7. Crist has already made attacking Scott's character and integrity a central part of his campaign message, and it is in Scott's interest to tamp down Democratic enthusiasm for their nominee. Negative ads are the most effective way to do that, and some observers suspect the Scott campaign has barely warmed up.

8. As the demographics of Florida steadily change, and Republican-leaning white voters represent an ever-shrinking portion of the electorate, the path to Democratic victory relies more and more on what happens in South Florida, and Miami-Dade in particular.

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 7:25am]


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